Chardonnay, Hawkes Bay

Chardonnay is planted in almost every region in the world and makes a wide variety of wine styles from light-bodied, crisp and unoaked through to full-bodied, complex barrel matured versions. Chardonnay is an adaptable variety and can be grown in cool regions as well as warm areas. It is a productive, early budding and early ripening variety.

Chardonnay first came to Australia in the 1920s but didn’t find popularity until the 1970s. Grown all across the country the cool climate versions (like found in the Yarra Valley and Tasmania) tend to be lighter in body with higher acidity and more subtle flavours. Warm climate versions (found in Margaret River, Hunter Valley and the Adelaide Hills) tend to be more full-bodied with richer, riper fruit and bolder flavours.
New Zealand’s second largest wine region (behind Marlborough), Hawkes Bay is on the east coast of the north island, to the south of Gisborne, and is New Zealand’s leading wine and food tourism destination. Many of the finest wines come out of the Hawkes Bay wine region.

A temperate climate with lots of sun is suited to superb Chardonnays in the whites and also later ripening red varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc (Bordeaux varietals) and Syrah.

A very special sub region in the Hawkes Bay region is the Gimblett Gravels. This sub region was thought to be not even good enough to graze sheep on, but in 1981 was planted under vine and now represents some of the world’s finest full bodied red wines. The unique terroir of the Gimblett Gravels comes from the old Ngaruroro River which until flowed through what is now known as the Gimblett Gravels, dumping gravel and heavy sands. The earthquake of 1931 changed the course of the river, leaving bare 800 hectares of prime new world terroir. Being 15km inland it doesn’t get the cooling sea breezes, so the region can get much hotter than the rest of Hawkes Bay.
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  1. Giesen Chardonnay 2018
    Giesen's Estate Chardonnay is wine that's very approachable in youth and suitable for any occasion. The fruit is sourced from a premium Hawke’s Bay vineyard, producing a Chardonnay with good fruit intensity and a touch of complexity through lees ... Learn More
  2. Ash Ridge 'Premium' Chardonnay 2016
    A complex & structured nod to the "old school" Chardonnay. A full, toasty nose, with generous amounts of yellow stone fruits, orange and a little struck match. Vibrant citrus, grapefruit, peach and nectarine flavours, with rich, leesy texture. Fresh acidity with ... Learn More
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